Good evening, guys! Today is going to be one of those days where I lay it all out there and spill my guts to you. There has been so much going on here behind the scenes at casa Bustamante over the last year, and I waited and waited to share, waiting so that I’d have a post with something exciting to say. At this point, I don’t know if that day will come, so I thought I would fill you in on life and why I may seem slightly disconnected. Last weekend I was lucky enough to get away to Seabrook, SC with a few of my close girlfriends I’ve met through blogging: Kelly, Diane, and Laura. As we were driving along into Charleston one day, I was playing the role of navigator using my google maps app. The app lost sight of where we were for a moment and got stuck on the screen that just spins and spins while it reads “Rerouting.” There’s nothing worse than driving along unsure of where you’re going when that screen pops up and you miss a turn because it didn’t give you clear directions in time. I started to think about that feeling of being immovable, at a loss, while waiting for the rerouted path to appear. That is exactly how I feel right now.
Photos in this post inserted just to give you something to look at
Let me backtrack and tell you how I came to be here, waiting for my app to tell me which direction to go. Hold on tight, because this is a long and meandering story, and I am sure it will come as a surprise to many.
One year ago, I had a crazy vivid dream about Chris having an affair and leaving me for a young woman he met at work. Of course all of his coworkers knew about it, and I was the last one to know. Our marriage ended and he went on to his happily ever after with this other woman. If you know Chris in real life, you know that this dream truly is utterly ridiculous, but we can’t help the stories our subconscious creates. I awoke from that dream furious and hurt… he didn’t understand what he had done. That dream is what sparked some very deep, intimate conversations between us and brought us closer together. It allowed us to be more open and honest with our feelings. I dug deep into my own emotions, and I realized that I wanted another baby. We’d decided in the past that we were good with two kids, although I was never as certain as he was. I approached Chris with this thought, and he was shocked, but open to considering.
As we worked together to build our chicken coop last year, while nailing away at the boards, we talked and talked. That project gave us several hours together to allow deep conversations. I told him that I knew I would never regret having another child in our lives, but I would regret never having had the chance to do it; and that if it didn’t work out, I was going to be OK with it knowing we had tried and there’d be no regrets. I was not ever going to go down the path of fertility treatments… I was 37 then (38 now), and I realize the risks involved and don’t want to put myself through any of that. On the flip side, Chris was worried he would become bitter towards me for asking him for another child. Clearly, it’s a big decision and there were a lot of facets to our discussion, which is why it dragged on for a couple of months.
Memorial Day weekend arrived, and we had a wonderful time, wrapping up the coop project, grilling outside, and hanging out as a family. Monday night of that holiday weekend we sat out at the fire pit with beer and S’mores; the kids tossed a frisbee while we sat at the fire. When Sawyer and Emmy were safely out of ear shot, Chris turned to me and said, “OK. I am going to give you what you want.”
Being me, I made a joke of it and laughed and said, “Right here and right now? I don’t know if that’s a good idea!”
June came, and I headed to the beach with the kids, leaving Chris behind as he had to work. During my week at the beach I had what I thought was my period, but it was lighter than normal. Upon returning home, I realized that after my period had passed, my breasts were tender still. I took a test and sure enough, it was positive! Chris and I congratulated ourselves on being so good that it worked on our first try. “High fives all around! We are that good!”
A few days after that positive test, I started to spot. I called the doctor and they were not concerned at all, as that can be normal. However, with Sawyer and Emmy I had never spotted or bled at all, so I was a little more apprehensive. A day later, blood was flowing a bit heavier, and I knew what was happening. I was in shock, and paralyzed by the reality. I had never had a miscarriage. “This does not happen to me,” I thought. It was summertime, so I was home with the kids while all of this was happening, and yet they had no idea. I pretended everything was OK for them, crying in the bathroom and hiding my tears, arranging playdates with friends who knew and offered to take them so that I could be alone.
After that, I decided that I needed to be a little more relaxed about my exercise and eating. I’m usually very health conscious, and was running 5-8 miles a day about 4-5 times a week then. I cut back drastically, eased up on healthier eating, and allowed myself more ice cream… because I thought maybe if I fattened up a teeny bit it would help, and frankly I was sad and wanted to ease my pain with pints of goodness.
Months went by and we continued to try, but with no luck. I will say though, that this time has been tremendous for our marriage (and not because of the ways you are thinking right now!). We’ve learned to communicate so much better, and we lean on each other more than we did in the past. We’re more willing to be vulnerable in front of one another (and if I am being honest, that’s me… I don’t always talk about feelings very well with men in general, but this has made it easier for me to let my guard down.)
Had I not miscarried, I would have been due in February. People had told me that when that month arrived, it would be hard for me, but I just didn’t believe them. February 1 came, and I had a complete and utter meltdown that day after the kids went to school. I just cried and cried for a good 30 minutes solid. I took a shower hoping it would calm me down, but instead just sobbed through the whole shower. I felt a bit like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give. I decided it was weighing on me too much and I needed to tell the kids. They deserved to know why sometimes Mom was really sad, and sometimes too quick to anger, and were old enough to understand.
One evening after dinner, I sat them down at the kitchen island and I told them everything. At the beginning of the story, they lit up, thinking I was about to tell them I was pregnant. As I continued, they realized the truth of the matter. Emmy’s eyes became glassy, and Sawyer cried big hard tears, got up off his stool, hugged me and told me how much he loved me. He was also upset that we had waited so long to tell them. Sawyer told me, in his own words, that he was “just so sad for our loss.” It struck me how deeply he felt it and owned it, too. After the tears faded, I told them that we were still trying, and they rejoiced! Quickly, they started shouting out all of the things they’d teach a little brother or sister, and they began making a list of names. As for me, I felt like a weight had been lifted in telling them, and I was even more excited to see their joy at the prospect.
A couple of weeks passed, and once again I had what seemed like a light period, but I could tell that something was off. I took a test, and it was faintly positive. The next day I took another and it was glaringly so. I called Chris at work, ecstatic about it! In that moment, I was certain that because I had told the kids and a weight had been lifted, my body was more relaxed and the universe had allowed it to happen. However, the next day I started to spot again. It remained light for a couple of days, coming and going, and I held on to hope. That Thursday, Chris and I boarded out plane to Seattle, with a quick layover in St. Louis. As always at a layover, I had to use the bathroom. I ran in, and what I saw shocked me. I knew it could happen, but I was not mentally prepared for the amount of blood I saw. I was also not prepared to handle it, and had left my purse with Chris and had no quarters for the restroom convenience machine. I walked out of the bathroom to the airport walkway with tears in my eyes and tried to hold it together as I gave Chris a slight shake of my head to let him know and asked for a quarter. Talk about feeling vulnerable and raw… standing in the middle of a crowded airport while life is bustling on all around you, yet dying inside of you… there’s not a word in our language to describe it.
Seattle was a very welcome distraction. Obviously, the miscarriage put a damper on our “romantic” getaway, but I was glad to be with Chris, away from the day to day, and in such a fantastic city. Despite everything, I truly loved our weekend there, and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.
However, when we returned home, reality was awaiting me. Tuesday my kids went to school, and I found myself unable to function. I stayed in my pajamas all day and allowed myself to cry. It was easier this time than the first because I think a part of me expected it to happen. The first time I was sure that miscarriages don’t happen to me, so it was harder to believe. Later that week I went to the doctor, of course, and she was kind and patient and listened. She suggested that if we try again, I call as soon as I have a positive test and get put on progesterone.
IF. The big “if.” At this point, I am not really certain of what I will do. Sawyer and Emmy are team “try again!” Chris tells me that he will support whatever I decide. And as for me, I am not sure. I am stuck, rerouting.
I am uncertain of what is next for me. I’ve also gained 10 pounds throughout this process, so am currently working on taking that off! Currently as in just started yesterday, so wish me luck. 😉 I am not sure if we will try again, and if we do if we’ll be successful. And if we don’t, then what? What will I do with that temporary guest room? Where do I go from here? Do I get a job? If so, what? What am I good at that I see a need for in the world? These are all questions I’ve been asking myself. With a 10 hour car ride each way to and from South Carolina by myself, I had loads of time to ponder. I don’t have any answers yet. Nothing is certain, but I am keeping all options open, not closing any doors, and welcoming any cracked windows.